Oldham College’s new buildings win international environmental award

Oldham College has won the international Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice for its two new buildings.

The Digital and Creative Career College and the College’s new entrance building which houses 28 classrooms, form part of the major redevelopment plan which is now transforming the campus into a 21st century learning hub.

This capital development project is replacing tired old buildings with vocationally specific and high tech new buildings providing state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities for present and future generations.

Committed to the environment, Oldham College is a member of the National Skills Academy for Environmental Technologies and the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. In partnership with leading industry experts, such as GroundTherm, Benchmark Green, Baxi and Armacell, the College developed a Green Technology Centre, fitted with the latest equipment to support training and upskilling for local, national and international clients. This was visited two years ago by The Rt Hon Edward Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

Keen to maintain its strong environmental credentials with the capital build, Oldham College aspired for and achieved BREEAM excellence, the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. In fact, the College’s new entrance building is one of five top scoring education buildings which has been shortlisted for a BREEAM award.

Alun Francis, Principal of Oldham College said: “We are delighted that the College’s commitment to the environment has been recognised in this prestigious way.”

The project was set with clear sustainability objectives and environmental KPI’s, by the College and the North West Construction Hub (NWCH) which include a commitment to:

  • Reduce and monitor energy and water consumption
  • Reduce waste generated by construction and manufacturing
  • Maximise DfMA (Design for Manufactured Assembly)*
  • Measure the amount of waste in tonnes diverted from landfill (benchmark 90%)
  • Measure the amount of carbon emissions in kg of CO2 (benchmark 1200 kg of CO2)
  • Smart meters on all site lighting
  • Measure the amount of construction waste in m3 (benchmark 1million cubic meters)

As well as meeting objectives to utilise sustainable construction methodologies, the site contractors Laing O’Rourke also met several other sustainable initiatives involving engaging with stakeholders and students of Oldham College. These included:

  • Involving engineering students in design meetings
  • Setting up a digital engineering learning zone including a BIM station
  • Employing a minimum of 7 apprentices on the project
  • Measuring and monitoring the rate of local procurement
  • Undertaking client and supply chain satisfaction surveys
  • Staff to participate in volunteer days within the local community

The College also became involved in community activities promoted by the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Oldham College art students painted a section of the project hoarding which went on to win the Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition.

The Green Apple Environment Awards were established by The Green Organisation in 1994 as an annual campaign to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world. Now in their eighteenth year, these awards are well established as one of the major environmental recognition schemes, both in the UK and internationally.